(Thunder &) Rain Stops Play

An unrelated photo of a blackcock in summer

Thanks to a thunderstorm at some point during the past four days, my internet connection has gone again, which explains the lack of new posts on this blog. At some stage before Christmas (optimistically), a man from BT openreach will come pootling up the road to the house and ponder the problem while he drinks vats of my tea.

Such are the problems of “rural” broadband – you pay the same bills as you would in the city, but you get the service you’d have got in 1994. There aren’t enough of us who get poor service to kick up a fuss, so apparently, we just have to shut up and make the most of the occasional faltering opportunity to use the internet.

Anyway, on a brighter (or at least different) note, I have been left with a free day after the Game Fair at Scone was cancelled due to poor weather. My parents went up on Friday and said that everything was covered in mud and people were complaining, which seemed odd, because you’d think that of all the special interest groups in the country, shooting and fishing folk would be most able to deal with a bit of wet weather. Even those ubiquitous lassies with the tweed mini-skirts wear DuBarry boots, so I wonder what went wrong.

In theory, a game fair should be a fortress of rubber, goretex and 4×4 vehicles, and I wonder if the decision had anything to do with the creeping influx of suburban hot-tub and conservatory salesmen who seem to have crept into the game and country fair “scene” over the past few years. There were so many of those perfumed time wasters at the CLA game fair last year that I’m wondering whether it’s worth the trip down to Belvoir this year.

Something about the CLA seems so distant from my experience of country sports that I feel like a total foreigner. I’m not interested in the sprawling canvas castles which the land agents build as hospitality tents, and row after row of shiny car dealerships are not my idea of fun. it seems to be getting harder and harder to find decent, interesting people with mud on their hands and a dog under their chair.

The weather has been pretty awful in Galloway, with periods of heavy rain interspersed here and there with a few sauna-like minutes where midgies come bleeding out of the moss like airborne sharks.

I’m engaged in the business of building 8’x4’ pen sections for my grey partridges, as well as fettling up a run for the hatch of pheasants which is due to take place on Tuesday. The silkie x sussex hen has started acting very strangely when she comes out of her box in the morning, and judging by her furtive behaviour, it could be that her eggs have started pipping. Fingers crossed that she’ll have a good hatch.



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